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Didja have a good time??

Posted by on Nov 29, 2018 in Blog | 1 comment

Did Jesus Have a Good Time?

My friend Parcival Spellman tells me the missing ten years of Jesus’ life were spent in what is now Tibet and northern India. Par was born Catholic Light, aka the Episcopalian church, but true religion didn’t really grab him until the past few years.
After a few years of out-of-the-box Christianity like Science of Mind, and Engineering Principles of God Inc., he is now more a Hindu. He studies religious texts, listens to Prem Joshua chants on his tablet, attends temple and goes on retreats among monks of his particular calling. I’ve never seen him happier, altho when I see him coming….
Par tells me Christ’s insights came as a result of sitting in caves and temples during those missing years of his life with the great Seers in the Himalayas, tapping into Godhead by way of snow, meditation and chants.
Once Christ had it, he returned to Israel to share what he’d learned, knowing full well this meant his days were now numbered. Priests, merchants and rulers do not like their people getting free wisdom and insight, so someone giving it away to all takers needs to have his shop shut down. And so it was.
But…in those three years of his being a free-range Savior, Jesus had a good time. He set free the most-locked up of them all, the subsistence farmers, fishermen and harlots, the huddled masses that believed they were slaves invented to serve masters. Christ gave them God for free, and taught them how to stay in touch with Him within themselves.
When the big guys shut down Jesus’ shop, it was like absolutely guaranteeing that what he taught by example would benevolently incline humanity forever. And so it has been: a unifying principle.
It doesn’t matter much whether Jesus’ wisdom came by way of India and Tibet, or directly from God on High there in Israel, what matters is that he touched the inner God in the people of his day, and that has come down to us.
My feeling is that Jesus had a blast back then, and he is now. We got it. He sees this, & we see it. What could be better?

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Nurse Sally

Posted by on Nov 23, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on Nurse Sally

Nurse Sally

Sally had a peculiarity in that she only wore one shoe to Surgery. I mean she made sure it was washed and disinfected but the surgeons thought it looked bad having her limp into the Cardiac Unit. She didn’t paint the nails of the bare foot but so many years of wearing too-tight shoes had somewhat deformed, thickened and warped the toenails, so toenail polish wouldn’t’ve really helped even if Sal was to consider it. Sometimes they’d click against the operating table supports and it could be grating if you had an open heart gaping at you.

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Best Thing I Ever Did…

Posted by on Nov 19, 2018 in Blog | 1 comment

Best thing I ever did in my life was have that Electrician who raises horses nearby install the stove vent here in the kitchen.

Also the best thing I ever did in my life was start up a magazine that Dusty Arrington saw one day, and got in touch.

Also the best thing I ever did in my life was hike the Pacific Crest Trail, becuz I met the woman who’d become my wife and life.

Also the best thing I ever did in my life was be the daddy of three chilluns who fill my heart and soul with shock and awe.

Also the best thing I ever did was get born so I’d have such a good friend and kids and woman and sensational stovetop fan and light.

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Weave of Life

Posted by on Oct 28, 2018 in Blog | 4 comments

The People are the body of Christ.

The clay finds its potter. The potter creates its heroes and villains, its assassins and
saviors, epochs and epics, catastrophes, revolutions and redemptions through players
called into being by the people’s moods and needs.

These selected ones may think they
lead, influence and form the people, but their charter comes from a unified
consciousness. Perfection looking for its genesis.

There is One, a core consciousness that is shared by everyone and
everything. No ‘part’ is any more relevant or important than another.

The target finds its arrow, the arrow finds its bow, the bow its archer, the archer his
cause, the cause its king, the king his people, the People itself.

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A La Fonda Adios

Posted by on Oct 23, 2018 in Blog | 2 comments

La Fonda SF Room 40 years later (From THE KID FROM SANTA FE to be published sometime)

It’s almost four on Sunday in La Fonda and the eight mariachis walk past us in the hallway by the patio restaurant to the Santa Fe room in back carrying guitars, guitarrón, violins and trumpet. The violinists are two women in black Charro suits with ornate silver trim and long skirts and flamenco dance shoes. Ben and Rachael have checked out everything and we are okay now, ten minutes to go.

Ben says a lot of Betty’s friends are out of town, even Wally, her closest Santa Fe friend. It turns out few of her friends show up, many have died, many others come to see Ben, my eldest son, and my brother Fred’s daughters, Rachael, Cordelia and her children, and one another. Fred, dead, is there through them, and his best friend, Mac Watson, and our mother through the lusty Mariachi music and laughter. Friends of mine wander in and everyone is happy to be together, there’s embraces and shining eyes but not much drinking going on. The hotel will refund Rachael most of her bar deposit a week later. The laughter and love and shared memories here are all pure-driven by love, music and laughter.

Outside in the hall there’s a woman I think at first is Diane Keaton, looking directly at me. There’s something about the eyes. She knows me but who is she? She laughs at my expression. Me: ‘Judy? Judy Adler?’ She: ‘Didn’t Ben tell you I was coming?’ I say ‘He did, he did, but, but…geez, Judy.’ Ben comes over to introduce his mother to some people she knew long ago when he was a baby, and I take the steps back down into the room where it’s sounding like cicadas on a hot Fiesta day. The mariachis are into Guadalajara with such passion I want to belt it out with them. Marilyn is with two women in their eighties who knew Marian when she was in her twenties, one of them the sculptor Donna, who did the History of New Mexico bronze fountain in the park next to St. Francis Basilica, and the thousand pound brass doors into the church.

Tim, the waiter from The Palace for thirty years, comes over and again it is one of those eye to eyes without recognition for about five seconds, going on for what seems ten minutes, waiting for something to jell in memory. He knows all the stories of all those who were the heart and soul of the Santa Fe Bohemian scene because he got all the renditions each night, so all he needed to do was shake them up later and let the truth bubble to the top. Betty wrote a book called My City Different that presented a condensed version of what only Tim knows the full stories of now. The New Mexico Archives people need to start debriefing this man. I tell him if he ever decides to write his memoirs, Augusta Wind Press will publish it. He suggests we wait a few more years till the rest of the main players are gone. I say I don’t want to risk him being among them. He laughs.

Later Judy returns to thank me for what Ben has become and for Betty taking Ben-of-the-Wind and rebranding him Ben de La Corazon Sacrada. I tell her all I did was ask him to come down from Portland and he took it from there, but she insists gently there was more to it, and that’s what she’s talking about. It wasn’t selfless of me, I say, I was near death myself when Marilyn came in the nick of time from Minneapolis to take over Betty’s care for a week, and then Ben arrived. Betty needed fresh life force, and Ben was it. She treated him well, they stood around the fridge gobbling vanilla ice cream at 2 in the morning, and he made her live longer through laughter and his real caring of her. Now Ben is still jigsawing where she ends and he begins.

When Judy’s said her piece there’s that flash of recognition that first brought us together in the New York City days 30 years before. We hug and she goes over to where Marilyn is dancing and joins her.

A tall, trim and casually aristocratic man standing by the bar asks, ‘Do you know me?’ He has a week’s growth of white beard and mirthful eyes. I ask how many guesses I get. He says he was five when he and his brother Mac and their parents picked us up at the train at Lamy station sixty-five years ago. He says he also came to visit me at 46 Hilárion Eslava in Madrid in 1959 when I was at the Universitária. What?!!! John Watson? John Watson?! It is. I throw my arms around him though he keeps his drink up between us. I haven’t seen him in 40 years. He has kids in their late thirties I’ve not met, we went to Wood Gormley Elementary in Santa Fe. He’s in town from Santa Monica because his father, Jack, died here a few days ago at age 100. We talk for a while and when I leave to go get some air for my soul he grabs my shoulder, nails my eyes and says, ‘Goodbye, my friend.’

I cut onto San Francisco Street and over to Cathedral Park to sit on a bench. The fountain sculpture shows five hundred years of the Spanish and Yanqui occupation of Indian New Mexico. It is a busy piece of work. For two hours I’ve moved among the hundred or so people and talked with them. I haven’t talked with that many people in my entire life. By the time I meet John Watson I am drenched, legs trembling. I’ve done it, whatever it is. A celebration of one life finished and another begun?

People in the park pass and nod my way, some of them smile as if they know me or what I am feeling. It is friendship. Imagine. Am I transparent? From the steeple Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound begins to play where the great bells tolled long ago, sometimes all day on Easter and Christmas when we were kids. It is my favorite hymn, and my theme song. I have to smile. ‘You are really something,’ I say to the treetops.

When I return to La Fonda Marilyn is coming out the door and we cut down San Francisco to Galisteo Street and back to the old Santa Fe Inn. This is how we used to meet whenever we got separated by chance and on some inner timing. She takes my hand and says ‘Oh good, I thought I was going to have to find our motel alone.’ I thought, Not anymore, not any more.

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Hard Heart, Soft Soul…

Posted by on Oct 19, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on Hard Heart, Soft Soul…

To Meet Mother Love…

When I took Marilyn to meet my mother in Santa Fe I’d forgotten about Marian’s jealousy. For 75 years she was desirable and witty and made people feel good when she was around. Rocking as she walked with a cane tamed her some but her laughter was still strong. And her wicked side. So here’s Marilyn the singing nun and professional nurse, and lover of children, meeting Betty Davis in Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?, with a drink in one hand and a sword cane in the other, a gift I’d gotten her at the Rastro in Madrid in 1960 as a wall ornament. There was a Sevilla sword hidden inside a hickory wood cane with a carved deer antler handle with a release button. Since her hip operation, one of the first in Santa Fe when St. Vincent’s was on Palace Avenue, she used it for dress-up to toddle around with.

We walked into mother and Betty’s adobe on Calle Paula out by Quail Run at five, and by 5:30 Marian is saying how very much Marilyn looks Black Irish, and how all the servants at the family mansion in Oswego when she was a child looked a lot like her, the cooks and butler and groundskeepers and chambermaids. Marilyn might not know what Black Irish means but she sure can’t miss the twist of the words. Mother prattles on about how Marilyn’s forebears had no doubt boated over during the Potato Famine, and how if her family had only known they might have had the coachman meet them at the docks and offer them jobs.

Marilyn excuses herself and goes out on the porch where I find her weeping. I’ve just told Marian to knock it off or we’re leaving, and she does her bewildered innocence look saying all she‘s doing is trying to make my Black Irish friend feel welcome and at home. I say she may as well have drawn the sword and run her through. Mother laughs gaily and toys with the flower on the bone handle shank of the cane that unlatches the blade to be drawn. She looks up at me coyly.

A few years later Marilyn and I are driving west to our home in San Diego from a visit to Minnesota and she suggests going by to see Marian and Betty. I think her admiration of their turning a local 12 page pamphlet into a five color international glossy magazine overrode her memory or good sense, or maybe she was curious as to whether she’d only caught Marian on a bad day.

It is late summer where in the afternoon a storm usually rolls in from the Pecos Wilderness over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Half the sky to the north and west is turquoise blue and the other stacked with blue-black thunderheads. When we reach the plaza a mortar barrage of lightning hit setting off burglar alarms. Indian vendors under the Governor’s Palace portal throw rugs and themselves over their stuff as straight line winds channel down Palace Avenue into the plaza streets kiting umbrellas, hats, souls, paintings and folding tables.

We’d hear the crackle of the lightning and feel the shock, big hail side-winding in and more burglar alarms coming on; and now the big siren from the fire department just behind us comes on. I’d lived in Santa Fe since 1944 and never seen anything like it.

It is over in five minutes, the sideways hail turning into a hard rain, then a downpour where we can’t see beyond the hood of the car. When it clears the streets are rivers, so we hang a right onto what is now the Palace Acequia and boat toward Albuquerque. Ten miles out of town at La Bajada the sun is out, the sky turquoise blue and the air crisp and warm; Marilyn’s been saved.

The next year we returned with my little son Zachary to spend a day. The relationship Marilyn had with my children was a part of life neither ladies’d had, my mother and Betty’s mothers crisp and cold and proper dames embarrassed by being mothers.

This time Marian isn’t tracking too well, so when she opens the front door and sees Zach she gasps, bends over before him with arms open, ‘Oh, my Johnnie, my Johnnie, they found you, they found you, it’s your mommy, I’m your mommy!!”

On the porch where the piñon firewood was stacked, where Marilyn had wept that first night from mighty hurt, my mother says to her in tears and breaking voice, ‘Thank you, Marilyn, oh thank you. I wish you’d been my mother. I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, please forgive me.’ They hug and cry.

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